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Meschede stars in Somerset success

Craig Meschede took his wicket tally in this season's Yorkshire Bank 40 to 20 as Somerset retained top spot in Group C with a five-wicket victory over Leicestershire Foxes at Taunton.

The 21-year-old all-rounder confirmed his position as the leading wicket-taker in the competition by claiming 4-5 from his five overs as the visitors were restricted to 124 all out after losing the toss in a match reduced to 25 overs per side by rain.

Alfonso Thomas returned 3-30 on his return after a hamstring injury, while Michael Thornely played a lone hand with 49 not out.

Somerset made hard work of their target, stuttering to 127 for five off 21.3 overs; Craig Kieswetter led the way with 50 and Marcus Trescothick made 28. Nathan Buck was the pick of the visiting attack with 3-25.

Leicestershire were never able to gain sufficient momentum after crashing to 49 for seven by the 13th over.

Steve Kirby and Thomas created pressure with tight opening overs, the former removing openers Niall O'Brien and Josh Cobb - who had gone into the game with an average of 104 in the competition this season.

Meschede had Greg Smith caught at midwicket with his sharp medium-pace and then switched to the Old Pavilion End to rip the heart out of the middle order by sending back Joe Burns, followed by Shiv Thakor and Rob Taylor with successive balls.

The only resistance came from Thornely with a little support from Anthony Ireland, who contributed 27 to a ninth-wicket stand of 44.

Somerset lost Peter Trego, the competition's leading run-maker, to Ireland early in their reply, but had moved to 60 in the ninth over when Trescothick was bowled by a length ball from left-arm seamer Taylor for 28.

Kieswetter, in his first innings since recovering from a thumb injury, looked in good form at number three but had started walking off when dropped on 32 by Matthew Boyce at deep midwicket off Thakor.

He went on to his half-century off 41 balls, with six fours and a six, and had put Somerset within 29 of victory when caught behind, edging a cross-batted shot off Buck.

Dean Elgar and James Hildreth also perished to Buck and gave Leicestershire a glimmer of hope, yet Nick Compton and Alex Barrow batted cautiously to complete the job with plenty in hand, the former securing victory with a six off Taylor.

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